- Taschenbuch: 368 Seiten
- Verlag: Norton & Company; Auflage: Reprint (28. März 2014)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0393347788
- ISBN-13: 978-0393347784
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 14 x 2,5 x 21,1 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 411.543 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Alone on the Ice: The Greatest Survival Story in the History of Exploration (0000000000) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 28. März 2014
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If you like frostbite-inducing weather and death-defying adventure stories, then award-winning author David Roberts gives you what you want: a wonderfully told, impressively researched tale of brave explorers confronting Antarctic blizzards, a deadly landscape pockmarked with deep crevasses and intrepid men trying to come back alive. --Chuck Leddy"
Impressively seamless and straightforward. A tale of action . . . strongly founded on the words of the expeditionary members themselves. --Christina Thompson"
Mawson, the unsung hero of Antarctica, gets his due at last. --Paul Harris"
Admirably succeeds in restoring the luster that the [expedition] and its leader deserve. --Dennis Drabelle"
A fresh and thoroughly researched account of Doulas Mawson's epic journey of self-rescue across one of the most inhospitable regions known to man. Roberts takes the reader alongside the men of the 1912 Australasian Antarctic Expedition, and the desperation of Mawson s sledge journey can be well imagined step by frigid step. --Ed Viesturs, author of K2: Life and Death on the World s Most Dangerous Mountain"
This is Roberts at his best, telling a little-known tale of adventure, tragedy, and endurance. Mawson may be the most famous Australian explorer, and Alone on the Ice is an admirable introduction of him to American readers. --Greg Child, author of Over the Edge"
Others have written the loose outlines of Douglas Mawson s astonishing survival against the worst conditions that Antarctica can deliver a lesser-known but equally compelling epic as that of Ernest Shackleton but Roberts s telling trumps them all. --Gordon Wiltsie, author of To the Ends of"
An accurate and enthralling account of the greatest storyofpolar exploration and survival. Roberts takes the reader back to a time of hardship, collective friendship, and a level of determination unknown in todays culture. This bookwill make youcherish every meal and the joys of a warm bed. --Conrad Anker, coauthor of The Lost Explo"
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
David Roberts is the winner of the Prix Mediterrane and the grand prize at the Banff Mountain Book Festival. He is the author of "The Mountain of My Fear" and "Deborah". He lives in Massachusetts.
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In "Alone on the Ice," David Roberts tells the true story of what Sir Edmund Hillary called "the greatest survival story in the history of exploration." Hillary was referring to the 1912 expedition of Australian explorer Douglas Mawson and his fellow members of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE). Mawson and cohorts set out to explore Antarctica with the intention of gathering specimens and to make scientific observations of the continent. What has left Mawson's considerable accomplishments and amazing survival story obscured by the layers of newsprint and time is--unlike Roald Amundsen and Robert Scott--he wasn't a pole bagger. Mawson, never grabbed headlines by "summiting" the south pole. Mawson and the AAE's expedition went virtually unnoticed by the public.
Now, at the 100th year anniversary of the expedition, Roberts tells the story of Mawson, alone after his companions had died during the expedition, an expedition that saw them trek over 600 miles round trip while being face with 100 miles per hour winds, and left with little of their original provisions. Left as a lone explorer, Mawson was forced to make a ninety-five mile trek across the Antarctic Ice while battling extreme hunger, madness, and the deadly terrain of the continent.
During his trek Mawson often had to crawl as a result of losing the flesh from the soles of his feet. And at one point, he fell into a deadly crevice that would have likely killed almost anyone else. However, Mawson, inspired by a poem by Robert. W. Service, was able to extricate himself out of the crevice with what could only be considered superhuman strength, determination, and extraordinary will. Roberts tells Mawson's story well and has seemingly done his research thorough, including some great, rarely-seen photos (one of an iced-over face is bizarre, as is the shot of an explorer's contortions to stay upright in a 100-mile an hour wind). The photos are by Frank Hurley, who is famous from his Endurance photos.
In sum, this is a very engaging read. Robert's detailed description of Mawson's determination, perseverance, and courage gives Mawson the heroic recognition while provided classic adventure story entertainment.
The AAE was led by a young scholar and university professor named Douglas Mawson. Roberts does a brilliant job of chronicling Mawson's life story and describing Mawson's affinity for adventure. As Roberts portrays him, Mawson was an all-around Renaissance Man, whose adroitness at surviving in the Antarctic was equaled by his brilliance as a scientist. In addition to providing a detailed narrative of Mawson's life, Roberts also succeeds in humanizing the men with whom Mawson traveled on his expeditions. All and all, the biographic sections of "Alone On The Ice" are outstanding.
While the backstories of Mawson and his fellow adventurers are intriguing, "Alone On The Ice" is a tedious read in many ways. The biggest problem with the book is its pacing. Instead of telling the story of the AAE as a crisp, streamlined narrative (as Alfred Lansing did in his similarly themed work "Endurance"), Roberts allows the minutiae of his research to slow the story down. For example, throughout the book, Roberts uses an excessive number of quotes from the diaries of Mawson and his fellow adventurers to bolster his points. A few well-placed diary quotes would've enhanced the story of the AAE. However, Roberts' approach to using diary quotes killed the book's momentum. Just as the reader becomes interested in a sequence of events, Roberts will throw in several large blocks of diary quotes which do little more than rehash what has already been written. After a while, working one's way through these pointless diary quotes starts to feel like working one's way across the frozen Antarctic landscape against a fierce, unrelenting wind.
The bottom line: "Alone On The Ice" is not a terrible book. It's clear that Roberts spent a significant amount of time researching the backstory of the AAE and the lives of those involved with it. The tragedy, however, is that Roberts' excellent research is bogged down by his inclusion of excessive and superfluous diary quotes. A more laconic account would've driven home the harrowing circumstances of the AAE much more effectively, and made for a much more interesting read.
The story of the AAE is a big and complex one indeed, but I feel that Roberts told the tale with something as close to elegance as possible. For the sake of the narrative Roberts is forced to omit some of the details of the expedition, but the focus here (especially in the second half of the book) is on Mawson and his incredible solo journey for survival. Without giving anything away, it really is one of the most heroic and exciting stories of survival I've ever read, and Roberts brings it to life with vivid, but never florid, writing. One of the most interesting points of the book for me was the depiction of the psychological effects of polar exploration and isolation, right down to its most devastating.
I appreciate that Roberts did his best to refrain from making personal inferences about what was going on in the minds of the men on the expedition. Too often writers of history will inject their own opinions into their subjects, but Roberts tells the story fairly and accurately using a wealth of sources (including many first-person sources from the expedition - journals, letters, etc). When a point of contention does emerge, such as the supposed conflict between Mawson and Madigan, Roberts provides both sides of the issue. When he does weigh in with his own thoughts, the author never presents them as absolute fact. I always appreciate when a writer allows the reader to draw his or her own conclusions, and Roberts does a pretty good job of this in Alone On The Ice. The book isn't completely free of bias (Roberts doesn't exactly shower Shackleton with praise), but the author never strays too far towards denigrating other explorers for the sake of building up Mawson. A fair historian is a hard thing to find, and if Roberts is as successful at remaining objective in his other books as he is here, I'd certainly be interested in checking them out.
After reading nonfiction, I usually judge the work by three criteria: how objectively was the story told; how well did the author create atmosphere; and how much did I learn. I have to give Roberts high marks in all three categories. I came away from Alone On The Ice having learned a great deal about a fascinating subject from a relatively unbiased author, and feeling almost like I'd been part of the team myself. While the book is a little light on the science of the AAE, it works very well as a character study of the men involved, and as high adventure. I look forward to picking up a copy of The Home Of The Blizzard next, so I can hear the story straight from Mawson himself.
A last note: I felt spoiled by THREE fantastic sections of photo plates!